The company's DVD
development lab had been evaluating numerous systems for the past several
"Our lab included both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc set-top
players, allowing us to demonstrate both versions to our clients," explains
Phil Erney, technical operations manager at the Cubist lab. "Most had seen one
or the other, but had never been able to compare the two,"
"We, and other industry leaders, firmly believe that there
will be two versions of high definition DVD," adds Cubist CEO John Ballentyne.
"It's not a Betamax versus VHS situation this time. Just as there are PCs and
Macs, and iPods and MP3 players, there will be HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs."
In Post's December
issue, Ballentyne cited next generation DVD as the future of DVD because "both
HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc offer superior-quality HD images and new levels of
interactivity, like pop-up menu interfaces and network connectivity. A
challenge for most post houses is the high cost of encoding and professional
authoring tools." However, he adds, "we knew we needed to make the commitment
now if we were to maintain our leadership role in adopting new technologies."
Ballentyne notes that at the end of 2006, there were fewer
than 20 companies in the US with next generation DVD development capabilities,
and most are on the West Coast, making Cubist one of the East Coast's pioneers.
"The public in general is becoming more familiar with high
definition and will insist on it," he says. "More than half the homes in the US
are expected to have an HD-ready display by 2008. In the end consumers will see
that high definition will give them crisper colors, text that is easier to read
and audio that supercharges the viewing experience. At Cubist, we have a
history of exploiting emerging technologies for the benefit of our clients and
the move to next generation DVD is a natural evolution in our growth."